My So Called Dizzy Life

My Chronicles of Vertigo, Nystagmus, Imbalance & Dizziness

Getting out of the Hospital & Starting the Healing Process

on July 5, 2012

When I got out of the hospital, I expected I would go see all the specialists that week, get better, and return right back to work.  I had a whole bunch of unrealistic expectations.

My appointment to see my new primary care physician (since I had dumped the Evil doctor & signed up with a new one while I was in the hospital) was set up for Wednesday, June 20th, 2012; two days after my release from the hospital.  June 20th was day 7 of my ordeal.  I was still dizzy, still unbalanced and using a walker, and my eyes were still moving back and forth.  My Nystagmus had not gone away yet.

Really, I just had to see the new doc in order to get my referrals to all the specialists that I needed to see.  I recounted my the details of my recent vertigo incidents and hospital stay for him.  I let him know my symptoms.  I tried to be as patient as possible, but I was so anxious to get everything I needed, get on my way, and get better.  Maybe I shouldn’t have told him he was wasting his time when he tried to perform the Epley maneuver on me.  But I knew that I was way past simple doctor office fixes (plus it had been tried before & I knew that didn’t have BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo); that diagnosis went out the window a week earlier.  I got my referrals to see an ENT, a Physical Therapist, and a Neuro Ophthalmologist and I was on my way.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that getting the referrals was the easy part. Getting an actual appointment was the hard part.  I called the physical therapy department to set up an appointment.  It turns out that in the entire Denver Metro Area (& this includes cities like Boulder and Castle Rock), there are only a few physical therapists who specialize in Vestibular Rehabiliation Therapy.  I think the first appointment the person on the phone tried to give me was in July.  JULY!  What was I supposed to do in the meantime?!?  Plus, with all those unrealistic expectations of mine, I planned to be back at work looooong before July!  Yes, once again I lost it and started bawling on the phone with a complete stranger.  How was I supposed to get better if she didn’t get me a sooner appointment?  I wanted my dizziness and my Nystagmus to end! Erik had to get on the phone at this point because I just couldn’t handle the thought of my therapy being delayed.  I just couldn’t handle any of it. Finally, we got an appointment for June 28th.  Eight days away.  Erik helped me calm down and, yes, face the fact that my healing process was going to take time.  In the meantime, my wonderful husband did some research on the web and found me an eye focusing exercise for people with nystagmus.  Something to start with until I could see the physical therapist.  He gave me some hope.

Erik set up the remainder of my appointments for me (it seemed like a good idea at this point) and was able to get me an appointment with an ENT that Friday.  He called the Neuro Ophthalmologist’s office; it turned out the doctor wouldn’t be back in the office until June 26th and they told us that we could expect a call back that day, after my records were reviewed.  We never received a call back; after numerous calls the next week to various Kaiser departments we discovered that the Neuro Ophthalmologist felt that the ENT should be handling everything and he cancelled my referral.

My ENT appointment was on Friday, June 22th.  Day 9.  Dizziness and Nystagmus still present.  First I had some hearing tests (an Audiogram, I think) done by a wonderful audiologist.  As I expected, my hearing was fine.  Then I met with the ENT who talked with me about what was going on and examined me a bit.  Apparently, I have a left-beating Nystagmus.  I know that means something, but I can’t quite remember what (lately I’ve been a bit forgetful, which I think is due to my brain working overtime to compensate for my vestibular deficits – but more on that later.)  He, too, felt that I had Vestibular Neuritis caused by a virus and that Vestibular Rehabiliation Therapy and time would help.  He also asked me to schedule some further testing that would be done at his office: a VNG, VEMP, and ECOG.  The receptionist at the office said these tests would take 4 1/2 hours (luckily, they only took a mere 3 1/2 hours) and the earliest date they could give us was the end of July.  For once, I didn’t break down in tears, but I did strongly explain (in a more tactful way) how fucked in the head I was and how I needed an earlier appointment.  I told them I would bribe them with cookies if it would work.  I begged.  I pleaded.  Finally they said they would see what they could work out and would get back to me.  Remember that wonderful audiologist who performed my hearing tests?  Well she performed magic and made time for me to have an appointment on Thursday, June 28th at 7am.   But those tests deserve their own post…

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4 responses to “Getting out of the Hospital & Starting the Healing Process

  1. Bona1010 says:

    Wow! The medical industry uses more acronyms than JCPL!!! Don’t know how you keep them all straight. Nor do I know how you’ve maintained your sanity. Ahhhhh – but that’s Erik’s doing. You’re a lucky woman for that.

    Still missing you and luv you! Take care of yourself – and keep those happy songs playing.

    • Emily says:

      Acronyms may very well be a special language designed to confuse us! I’m doing my best to maintain my sanity – we’ll see how it goes. 😉

      By the way…those cupcakes were heavenly. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I considered the carrot cake cupcake a vegetable serving. 😉

  2. Jenn says:

    Medical acronyms are better than library acronyms because usually people don’t tack on an unnecessary word at the end.

    In the library, you constantly hear ISBN number and ISSN number. *shudder*

    But I bet no one tried to test you for BPPV vertigo. So there’s that. Score!

    Good job with the blog, Emory.

    • Emily says:

      I hear you; just yesterday I requested a book via InterLibrary Loan and I noticed that JCPL’s form says “ISBN number.” *double shudder*

      The best acronym that I’ve seen lately is for Short Term Disability. Yup, I filed for my STD. And I’m really hoping that I get STD. Not an acronym that a girl wishes for everyday.

      Thanks for the comments, Jenn.

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